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Global Markets Struggle With Inflation

Stock markets around the world have been weaker recently as they struggle with the implications of global inflation. Asian markets in particular are worried; Asian currencies have been weak on inflation concerns. Consider the following headlines:

Russia: PPI up 25 percent Year Over Year (YOY)

South Korea: inflation at 7-yr high

Vietnam: inflation up 25 percent YOY

As a result, emerging market stocks have been fading:

China down 54% (from the high in October 2007)

India down 32% (from the high in January)

Russia down 7% (from the high in May)

Meantime, companies in the U.S. are emphasizing the impact of inflation on their bottom lines. Lowe's is seeing "unprecedented requests for price increases;" Dow Chemical is raising prices for the second time in a month; energy costs up fourfold last 5 years.

All this is putting pressure on U.S. indices; the Dow is sitting near the 52-week closing lows from back in March.

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